Sword Burst 5th Edition for D&D
- on Feb 20, 2022
In a moment, you have created a spectral blade circle around you. Every creature within range, excluding you, must succeed on a dexterity saving throw, or else take 1d6 force damage.
Basically, this sword burst spell’s damage will increase by 1d6 whenever you reach the 5th level (2d6), at the 11th level (3d6), and at the 17th level (4d6).
- Duration: 1 action
- Distance: 5 feet
- Type: V
- Time: Instantaneous
- Scaling: Yes
- Casters: Arcane Trickster, Eldritch Knight, Sorcerer, Warlock, Wizard
This is typically deliberate wording. The differences are very specific:
- Thunderclap and sword burst both require Constitution saves, while thunderclap requires Dexterity saves
- Thunderclap deals thunder damage, while sword burst deals force damage
- The thunderclap only has a somatic component, while the sword burst has a verbal component
For example, sword burst is stopped by a silence spell, but thunderclap is unaffected in damage while the limitation thereon (“can be heard 100 feet away”) is nullified.
As we discussed, if you employ a roll to hit spell and miss, then you waste a spell slot. Meaning that attempting to hit twice would waste two spell slots, and remains not guaranteed. As this is often mainly a spellcaster cantrip, that’s what it might most frequently be used for.
You can use it to repel people that surround you through an AoE spell. Cantrip is a really good multi-hit ability, but it doesn’t benefit other classes much. Due to its average damage of 3.5, this makes it an excellent choice for killing the foremost minions of minions, such as Stirges. We give it a C for situational effectiveness. There are numerous good cantrips out there, but this one is not terrible. All of them serve the same purpose.
Definitely not great, but it has a lot of potential. The thing is, if you’re playing a caster (or even an Arcane Trickster), you don’t want to be in a position where Sword Burst is sweet in the first place. This would be useful for an Eldritch Knight.